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"Island of the Blue Dolphins" won the Newbery Medal in 1961, and in 1976 the Children's Literature Association named it one of the 10 best American children's books of the past 200 years. The book was inspired by the true story of an American Indian girl, Karana. Karana jumped ship during the evacuation of Ghalas-at to stay behind with her little brother, who had accidentally been left behind. The boy died a short time later, and Karana was left alone on the island for 18 years, fending for herself. "Island of the Blue Dolphins" is an unusual story of survival and perseverance.